Sunday, November 27, 2016


Almost 10 years ago, Po Brownson published an article in New York Magazine “How Not to Talk to Your Kids.”  Based on early research of Dweck and others, she argued that praising personal traits (such as intelligence) can have detrimental effect on motivation and performance.

There has been growing body of literature underscoring the potential of intentional “wise criticism” on improving students’ performance. For example, Cohen, Yeager, and others have demonstrated that so-called “wise feedback” (i.e. emphasizing teacher’s high standards and belief that students were capable of meeting them”) resulted in improved quality of student’s work and that the improvement was particularly strong for students “who felt more mistrusting of school” (see this link for the full article).

MINDSETKIT has an excellent cycle of lessons on how to encourage growth mindset by praising process rather than the person, embracing challenges and mistakes, and using formative assessment and peer feedback.

There are many on-line resources with practical tips on how to include growth mindset feedback in the classroom (see for example LarryFerlazzo's Blog, the GrowthMindset Feedback Tool, and Teaching Growth Mindset with Carol Dweck.)

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